Algorithm is a computer science term for a way of solving a problem, and it also refers to the instructions given to the computer to solve the problem. The study of algorithms is central to computer science and is of great practical importance to survey data analysis because algorithms are used in statistical programs.

An algorithm can be thought of as any step-by-step procedure for solving a task. Imagine five playing cards face down on a table and the task of sorting them. Picking them up one at a time with the right hand and placing them in the left hand in their proper place would be one way to solve this task. This is an algorithm, called insertion sort in computer science.

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